Re: Proposal for German capital letter "ß"

Marcel Schneider charupdate at
Fri Dec 11 04:30:50 CST 2015

On Thu, 10 Dec 2015 10:56:50 -0800, Leo Broukhis  wrote:

> This prompts a question: for case conversion bijectivity in fr_FR
> locale, should there be "invisible accents"? E.g.
> déjà -> DE(combining invisible acute accent)JA(combining invisible
> grave accent) -> déjà
> whereas in fr_CA locale, it is simply
> déjà -> DÉJÀ -> déjà

In fr_FR locale, it is, too. Thank you for your courtesy, invisible diacritics are indeed a very good idea if undiacriticized uppercase were really an actual need. But since your proposal is about case *conversion*, it's meant for *new* text, as opposed to historical editing. Introducing a mechanism to get accents off the caps without altering lowercase, is twice useless. First because undiacriticized uppercase is far from being an ideal, it's a mere second best that grew usual for a time but should have no more place. Second because it mainly would become useful in case conversion of *existing* all-caps that obviously has been written without the new invisible accents.

Eric's finding [] that 'E' was always diacriticized but 'A' wasn't always, illustrates partly the pragmatic second-best solution of avoiding the accent on top when it often breaks away on lead typography letters, and partly the dislike of such on-tip accents which some people considered as "ugly". But in turn this dislike could have been the product of simply seldom seeing the accent on the tip of the 'A'. Fortunately all these byways are now past and useless.

Subsequently, I feel the need to stronly underscore Ralf Herrmann's conclusion on 23 Jan 2011 in the blog post that Asmus linked to []:

The capital Eszett is now used more every day. It is included in several Windows 7 fonts and more and more type designers are designing a capital Eszett for newly released typefaces. I would like to finish with a quote about the capital Eszett from 1879, which I consider as true today as it was then:


“Indeed—it is a new character; but maybe this newness is the only thing you can hold against it.”


(Original quote: „Allerdings – es ist ein neues Zeichen; vielleicht ist aber die Neuheit das Einzige, was sich dagegen vorbringen lässt.“)



IMHO the full achievement of Unicode is to be able to not only reproduce inherited practice, but above all, to enhance the actual one.

Best regards,

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